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Discussion: Fandango - Carmina Quartet, Rolf Lislevand, Nina Corti

Posts: 6

Post by Fasolt April 2, 2010 (1 of 6)
Wow, Beagle, it's amazing how tastes differ - I'm a big fan of this recording, and of the Carmina's recorded repertoire in general. They have a lot of "air" and "fire" energy (think Martha Argerich), which, in the case of their Opus 3 could conceivably be so light-footed that it doesn't register on someone's pleasure-o-meter - for instance, my great aunt Dorothy, who loves to read Opus 3 at half tempo with her amateur quartet. Otherwise, I simply can't understand how you fail to respond to this elegant, charming rendition - in fact, the Opus 3 is for me the highlight of a very lively, sunny, unusual recording. 

In terms of the recorded sound, this is indeed somewhat "sharper" than some of their best recordings (sounds like a small recording space?); even so, the signature sweetness of the Carminas I know from their decades recording for DENON shines through.

I don't think the Carminas use baroque instruments, but they are certainly at the forefront of something like the "post Harnoncourt" wave of musicians: they have swallowed the baroque movement whole, digested it, and are currently producing their own inimitable creative product, which seems not to be to quite everyone's taste (for example, again, my great aunt Dorothy, who also loves her vibrato), but is dynamic and unforgettable. The experimental nature of this recording (including the unconventional integration of the guitar) is a departure from the Carmina's traditional DENON recordings, but a welcome change on the otherwise rather stuffy quartet scene.

Post by Beagle April 2, 2010 (2 of 6)
Fasolt said: it's amazing how tastes differ
I'm glad Carmina have a fan: individual expectations certainly colour what is heard. I only know that on the same evening's listening* Die Röhre, The Tube - Stuttgarter Kammerorchester and Boccherini: Fandango & Sinfonias - Savall both sounded delicious and thoughtfully phrased, but this disc sounded compressed and disappointingly disjointed.

My expectations for tempo in the Op.3/5 have been set by the Kodály Quartet's 2000 Naxos disc, 15:21 vs Carmina's 15:37, i.e. 2% faster and a pace your Great Aunt Dorothy might find bracing.
* same humidity, air pressure, mood, earwax etc.

Post by Cicero May 3, 2012 (3 of 6)
Overall, I rather like this SACD, in particular the Carmina's take on the two Haydn quartets. However, none of the reviews mentions an oddity, perhaps because it was not audible on the reviewers' copies or because they failed to notice it. On track 18 (the final movement of Haydn's op. 74/3), at around 1'04'', there is no music - or rather, a disconcerting gap lasting for less than a second interrupts the music, after which the music resumes as if nothing had happened. This seems to be an editing error, which mars the SACD stereo layer but not the RBCD layer. I checked both my own copy and a replacement copy that Sony kindly provided (apparently without checking before they sent it). Both copies exhibit exactly the same problem. If others can confirm this being a problem not restricted to my two copies, then caveat emptor.

Post by Jonty May 4, 2012 (4 of 6)
It is on my copy too. I have put up with it as I was more interested in the Boccherini. But now that you have reminded me of the flaw it will irritate.

Post by Cicero May 4, 2012 (5 of 6)
Thanks for confirming that this annoying editing fault is not just on my copies! And my apologies for inadvertently reminding you of this issue. I hope you can still listen to the (remainder of the) SACD with some real pleasure.

Post by Jonty May 5, 2012 (6 of 6)
I am sure I will cope.